Sunday, 10 January 2016

Jumping Ship

Guys, it's time for me to move on from this blog.  It's been grand, but I'm feeling a shift.  If I'm horribly vague it's only because that's exactly how I'm experiencing it.  When I started blogging again at the beginning of 2015, I thought I wanted to grow and maybe monetize (ROFL).  That's when I wasn't sure that we'd be living in Wales.  Now I feel tired with the sprawling subject matter.  I want to focus on our little stories.  And I don't want to overthink it.

Turns out I've got a place ready for me.  When my Squaresoft photography website expired (somehow I missed there was a fee, hahahahahahaha NOT GONNA HAPPEN), Crown & Bough became "available" again.  I never explained the name.  For me it conjures flower crowns and golden boughs and pre-Raphaelites and huldrefolk and Arthuriana and Shakespeare and pubs.

I'm going to be over there, but I very well may come back to Everything to Someone, if the mood so takes me.  And it just might, dear readers, it just might.

{Photos pictured of Old Colwyn from last August.}

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

A "Plan" for 2016

I'm very tired these days . . . I don't know that it's more than usual, however.  I think I'm always quite tired and that I just try to ignore it and run about distracting myself until the fatigue catches up with me.  And then I wonder why I'm so spent!

The past two years, starting in Advent, I've really tried to harness peace in my life.  If "harness" can be used to describe such a word.  I don't know if I've been successful.  I feel more peace, and I think that that's come about by outside forces shifting and settling, things falling into place.  So I can't really give myself credit for that.  This year, the word that comes, un-summoned, is rest.  I want so much to rest.  Rest in my body, rest in my soul, rest in Jesus.  I miss Jesus.

So I want to seek spiritual direction.  I'm just awful at self-motivation.  Having a person to recommend disciplines to me and to check in with me now and again (and pray for me!) is just the remedy.  I'm unsure about how to go about finding one.  The priests I've been to in confession don't seem eager to dole out a lot of advice and/or are questionable on matters of doctrine and practice.  There should be a spiritual direction directory somewhere around here!

I also want to seek out an acupuncturist!  It's been recommended to me by several people and the almighty internet, and I think some damage control in order to preemptively combat the physical pain and  stress caused by special needs parenting is smart.

The only real resolutions I've made are small and do-able:

  1. write one poem
  2. write one short story
  3. publish one piece

Because I miss writing.  I'm happy with my creative outlets of blogging and photography.  I wish I had more time in which to expand on these hobbies, or maybe just time to indulge in them without feeling panicked and rushed and distracted.  But alas, this is not my season.

I'm also sorely lacking in the reading department.  It's shameful!  I must read Kristin Lavransdatter because I haven't, and that is a crime against nature.  If I can just accomplish that, along with whatever reading a spiritual director will assign, I'll feel satisfied.

So that's me in 2016.  Do you set resolutions or briefly entertain the idea of setting them?  How do you go about finding a spiritual director ('cause it's entirely new territory to me)?

Sunday, 3 January 2016


"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2015."

Afon:  This was actually taken before the new year--but within the same week--on one of our walks.  These past two weeks have tested us to our limits, and we are more than happy to have him start back at school tomorrow.

Roan:  almost a year old!  He is so good to "help" me in the kitchen.  He stays in his high chair feeding on bits of bread and cheese while I cook, and when I'm finished, as soon as the floor is clean and the appliances cooled and off, he's let loose on the floor, just as he's starting to fuss.  I would have been an insufferably dreamy mama if he had been my first baby.

Remember the Magi

Between today and the 6th of January, Christians everywhere will mark their doorways with the signs 20 + C + M + B + 16.  Caspar, Melchior, Balthasar, the traditional names of three mad kings who went away and were never the same.  Don't take my word for it.  Hear it from T.S. Eliot:

I love this poem for its brutal honesty.  Cause sometimes searching for God isn't all angels-on-high and rocks crying out.  It's hard work.  It's uncomfortable.  It means tears and sleepless nights.  It means traveling in the wilderness (waste land).  We think of the wise men following the star like a lighthouse in a storm, but Scripture doesn't say anything about the star leading the way.  They tell Herod, "We saw his star when it rose. . ."  The next thing we hear in Matthew,

After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was.  When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.  (NIV)

The magi saw the star as a summons, not a safety net.  They embarked on an arduous journey knowing neither when nor where the destination.  There is no mention of the star until it appears again over Bethlehem.  Between those two times, they made their way in darkness.

Remembering that they had seen the star, believing it, that's the epiphany.  That is faith.

Thursday, 31 December 2015

Best of 2015

After an extensive break from blogging (call it maternity leave!), I dived back in headfirst in January of 2015, much the same way I began.  I lost some readers, connected with old friends, and met new people.  To all of you: I'm glad you're here.  I hope my blog gives you some happiness, as it has done for me.  I hope that I serve you in some way through writing.  I hope that your year was beautiful despite it's pains.

And, if you're interested, here's a look at the best-read and most-viewed blog posts of 2015.

Sapphires on Ash Wednesday

Things of great value require great sacrifice.  That's the very meaning of worth.

Let's talk about that Similac ad

Let's be honest about our personal, unique, and individual goals in parenting instead of shutting down communciation by fearing judgement.

This Child

Afon's autism journey, so far, the heartbreak and the triumphs.

Liking the Way You Look

I've worked too hard and too long to let anyone take that away from me.

Blogging and Transparency

#oversharing on the internet

That One Time I Handed My Baby to a Stranger in a Waiting Room

Babies unite us all with our common humanity.

Always consult a doctor or a professional before making any major life changes.

Roan Reuel's Birth Story


In which I take a stand.

7 Affordable Ways to Make Your Week Beautiful

He's my husband.  Not my partner.

Because marriage is an entirely different animal from a partnership.


What was your favorite post or topic in 2015?  What would you like to hear about or more of in the coming year?

Best wishes for 2016!

Little Stories: 2015

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

On the Feast of the Holy Family, Part I

All the Christmases roll down toward the two-tongued sea, like a cold and headlong moon bundling down the sky that was our street; and they stop at the rim of the ice-edged, fish-freezing waves, and I plunge my hands in the snow and bring out whatever I can find. 
In goes my hand into that wool-white bell-tongued ball of holidays resting at the rim of the carol-singing sea. . .

-- Dylan Thomas, A Child's Christmas in Wales

When I read this passage to John about the abundance of snow in an idyllic childhood paradise, he asked "Where in Wales did Dylan Thomas grow up?  It snows here, like, one day a year."

Hiraeth, John, hiraeth.  ;)

It did, however, shed perpetual rain upon us like the end times on both Christmas and Boxing Day.  The two days there are no public transport.  We went nearly feral with stir-craziness.  Thank goodness things cleared up enough on Sunday to pack up quick as could be and shuttle off to Bangor.  I took Afon out for an extended walk over the straits to Anglesey and Church Island.

It didn't seem longer or farther than our custom of walking into Colwyn Bay from Old Colwyn, but it's taken me two days to recover.  My muscles are sore and my joints are aching and I've slept and slept almost incessantly since then.

These are all the photos I've developed for now.
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